Achieving Excellence in Face-to-Face Fundraising
Hank noted that a personal visit by a team should consist of at least two people. He indicated this team consists of the peer of the prospect accompanied by the organization's chief executive, fundraising officer or a program person. The peer is a volunteer and the advocate for the organization; the staff person is the expert witness. The team needs to be prepared to visit at least one and possibly two or more people. Team members need to know who will be present for the visit. It also helps to learn, if possible, who is the decision maker being solicited by the team.
For a face-to-face solicitation to work, the team must practice in advance. Team members need to know how much time they have on the visit, the purpose of the visit, the priorities to sell, anticipation of rejection questions plus other facts. Prior research is a must to learn the prospect's giving history, capacity to give and how she gives. Knowledge of prior giving history to the institution is a must, as well. The place of solicitation is key, so seek a personal, relaxed setting. The stakes are high, and all elements must be anticipated in advance.
A key concept to remember is LAI — linkage, ability, inclination. All three must be in play in a solicitation effort. Personal solicitation must be practiced, and each person must understand his or her role and function in the actual solicitation.
The fundraising staff person is responsible for this one-act (or more) play and needs to understand how each participant will act on the solicitation side. The unknown and exciting adventure begins as you typically do not know exactly how those being solicited will react. Your goal is to achieve excellence in face-to-face fundraising.
Read Hank's book, as the principles have not changed. There is no greater thrill than to achieve success in a personal solicitation!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.